Recently my husband and I watched a movie that showed much different than I expected. I was glad for the opportunity and for making the choice to see it. When my expectations of someone or something interfere with an opportunity, I know I will loose out on a transformation every time. The movie we watched was about a man who took a risk to be himself, to allow his flaws to be seen and to follow the biggest risk of all – exactly what his heart was telling him.
I have realized, my desire to keep up with the status quo is wasting time, holding me back and therefore, keeping my voice silenced. I may sound like a misguided creative “looking to make a difference” in the world, but maybe if I stop matching up with those around me and give what I have – I will do just that.
In the state of Colorado, rain is a welcome and occasional thing. We do pride ourselves (which is not ours to claim at all) on over 300 days of sunshine per year. To our surprise we have now had 40 days and 23.46 inches of rain or snow melt, most of which has been in April & May. This type of weather has an effect on CO residents who spend a lot of time out doors hiking, working, sleeping and having fun. I know we are keeping our regular running schedule, even in the misty early evening conditions, as I am sure others have done.
I love that I am an eternal optimist, not a Pollyanna, because I see sunshine even in the rain. I don’t push aside the obvious or ignore the reality. I see hope and not failure. I get to use my KU Jayhawk umbrella, greet singers as they rush inside for a voice lesson, talk about how the water is carving grooves into the earth that weren’t there before and connect with others who have been pumping water out of their basements since Mother’s Day like us.
I encourage you to find the creative light within the dark day. To go within to connect with your passions – draw, color, paint… If the weather is making you sad, get a happy light to increase the Vitamin D you need and connect with others as a source of inspiration – not to find a comrade for complaining. Remember, you can always put on a raincoat and swing on a lamppost while singing at the top of your lungs. This worked well for a movie shoot, even on the day that the big star had the flu. Enjoy the rain, friends.
Why do we perform? Why do we put ourselves on the spot, sweat, combat a dry throat and risk forgetting foreign words? Because in some secret way, we are adrenaline junkies. And we live for the thrill of the performance. I tell students, the only way we can get over the fear….AND learn to love the rush of the moment, is to put themselves in the light.
That place we go when we perform is a special place. A zone. A tunnel. A field of wheat on the hillside. Whatever it is for you, it must be a place you go to find the magic of who you are as a performer. Wait, did I just call it “magic?” Yes. I use this word because that is what it is. And if I jump right to words like “life changing” or “freaking amazing zone of constant euphoria” – it might be a bit much. But really, that is what it is.
What lies behind the Musicians Only door is both glamorous and not glamorous at the same time. There are some days I enter the door with a heavy sigh and some days I am light on my feet. But every time I enter that door, I enter with every passionate musician in my heart. And I step onto the stage to connect with anyone who comes to hear me sing. That is why….
Such a harmless word, all lower case letters, humps and curves. If it desires, music, has the power to cut through the soul of every single person. music ignites a cold space within where a flame once roared with passion. Some days, I think music is a friend. I have been seduced by music as if she were a beautiful Italian woman enjoying gelato on a sunny afternoon. And I have been discarded by music as if he were a foe, taking me deeper and deeper into the guilt of not practicing enough as I suffer through a German choral piece. Either friend or foe, I know this relationship will go on. I know I have to make a choice each day to grab the handle on the music train or call it quits.
Music – seductress, knife or gentle friend, it is none and all of these things at once. It is a mode of enjoyment, employment, strife and bliss. One thing I know for sure, music is no respecter of persons. It can only be its own element, curving its way through the lives, and concert halls, and memorial services of anyone who dare invite it in. I know I must allow music to be. To live and to burn. And I must summon it in so I can continually become the person I am to truly be.
Beethoven believed that, “music is mediator between spiritual and sensual life.” And Debussy, “I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naive candor of a child.” Both of these composers fought to release the music within them to to world. We all negotiate, beguile, ignore, test and sometimes trick what we believe to be a piece of paper containing notes, rhythms and tempo suggestions. I may believe music is no respecter of persons, but it is a living thing that is moving even now. I doesn’t need to respect, but I must – in order to live.